Meaning of GENERAL in English

I. ˈjen-rəl, ˈje-nə- adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin generalis, from gener-, genus kind, class — more at kin

Date: 14th century

1. : involving, applicable to, or affecting the whole

2. : involving, relating to, or applicable to every member of a class, kind, or group

the general equation of a straight line

3. : not confined by specialization or careful limitation

4. : belonging to the common nature of a group of like individuals : generic


a. : applicable to or characteristic of the majority of individuals involved : prevalent

b. : concerned or dealing with universal rather than particular aspects

6. : relating to, determined by, or concerned with main elements rather than limited details

bearing a general resemblance to the original

7. : holding superior rank or taking precedence over others similarly titled

the general manager

II. noun

Date: 14th century

1. : something (as a concept, principle, or statement) that involves or is applicable to the whole

2. : superior general

3. archaic : the general public : people


a. : general officer

b. : a commissioned officer in the army, air force, or marine corps who ranks above a lieutenant general and whose insignia is four stars — compare admiral

- in general

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.